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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide
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Contains Season 6 spoilers. Don't read if you don't want to know.

Flooded: Buffy, so often seen fighting all manner of demons and hell creatures, now meets a new enemy: financial woes. Meanwhile, a trio of unlikely supervillains makes an entrance.
Season 6, Episode 4
First US airdate: October 16, 2001
Written by Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson, Directed by Douglas Petrie.

Guest Stars:
Anthony Stewart Head... Giles
Amber Benson... Tara
Danny Strong... Jonathan
Adam Busch... Warren
Tom Lenk... Andrew
Todd Stashwick... M'Fashnik
Michael Merton... Mr. Savitsky, the loan officer

Episode Synopsis:
Buffy's basement. We join our heroine as she stealthily approaches... a leaky pipe. Buffy attempts to fix it by tightening the pipe. This, of course, causes the pipe to burst, leaving the basement flooded. Tito the plumber's diagnosis: the house needs a pricey full copper re-pipe. Buffy doesn’t see the problem at first, but then the rest of the gang tells her that she's broke. Anya, in a true Capitalist moment, suggests that Buffy start charging for slaying vampires ("You're providing a valuable service to the whole community... I say, cash in!"). Xander doesn’t back Anya up, so she storms out, angry that Xander never takes her side.

Xander follows Anya outside. Anya, as it turns out, is actually upset that she can't tell people about the engagement yet. Xander wants to wait, because his life has changed a lot over the past year, and he doesn't want to mess up their marriage by taking things too quickly. Anya forgives him for a minute, and then realizes that she's still mad and storms off.

A few days later, Buffy meets a loan officer who tells her that he can't give her a loan because she has a house that's losing value, she has no collateral, and she has no job. The meeting is cut short by a demon attack. Even after the demon fight, Mr. Savitsky still turns down Buffy's loan. Back at the Magic Box, Buffy takes out her anger in the training room. Willow sees this as a good sign, because Buffy hasn't really been expressing any emotion since coming back from the dead.

Out on the shop floor, Dawn then identifies the Demon of the Week, M'Fashnik (like "mmm, cookies"). It turns out that this demon not only attacked the bank, but it also robbed the bank, which is a strange thing for a demon to do. Buffy and Willow come out, and as the Scoobies talk about the demon, Buffy notices someone at the door. Giles has returned.

Giles and Buffy go back to the training room, where he tells her that he finds it somewhat "bewildering" to be back in Sunnydale, since he was just starting over again in England. Giles and Buffy then rejoin the others, who fill him in about the bank-robbing demon. Giles wonders aloud who could be powerful enough to control the M'Fashnik demon.

Cut to a basement. The M'Fashnik demon is confronting the people who hired him - Jonathan, Warren, and Andrew, otherwise known as the Trio. The demon demands that they kill the Slayer for him, but this is an overwhelming request for the three geeks. They offer him some alternate forms of payment, but the M'Fashnik demon isn't interested.

Meanwhile, Buffy makes up the sofa for Giles and tells him about her money problems. Giles assure her that they'll work everything out together. In the lair, the Trio tries to figure out what to do about the M'Fashnik situation. Jonathan and Andrew are not at all interested in killing Buffy – as Jonathan says, "She saved my life a bunch of times... plus, she's hot." Warren gives the demon Buffy's address and instructs him to go ahead and kill the Slayer. The demon, somewhat irritated at this point, heads for Buffy's house.

At Buffy's house, Giles criticizes Willow for going against the laws of nature to bring Buffy back. Willow doesn't see anything wrong with what she did, and she tells Giles to try to be happy about Buffy being back. Out on the back porch, Buffy overhears the entire conversation, but Spike shows up and manages to cheer her up a little bit. Later that night, Giles and Dawn can't sleep, but that's the least of their problems after the M'Fashnik demon bursts in. He goes after Dawn first, but Buffy blocks him, eventually wrestling him down into the basement. The demon breaks a pipe (the last straw), and Buffy grabs the pipe and kills him with it.

This particular outcome leaves the Trio pretty happy. Buffy took care of their M'Fashnik problem for them, the robbery money has allowed them to upgrade the lair, and they now feel that they could probably take on the Slayer.

Meanwhile, the Scoobies try to put the house back together after the M'Fashnik attack. Buffy wonders how her mother paid for all of the previous times she had trashed the house. While Xander, Anya, Willow, and Tara are outside throwing out some furniture, the phone rings – It's Angel, who has heard that Buffy is back. Buffy and Angel agree to meet. Buffy thanks Giles for taking care of all the bills for her, and heads out the door to meet Angel.

In "Flooded," we're introduced to a number of the themes and ideas that will recur throughout the season:

  • Buffy's money problems
    Buffy's recent experience with death has left her feeling less than human, out of sorts with the world. At the same time, she suddenly has to deal with some very human problems – unemployment and lack of money. If you find a Buffy fan who hated season 6 (and believe me, there are a lot of them), his or her feelings will generally stem from one of two perceived problems: 1) It was too much of a downer, or 2) they didn’t want to see Buffy dealing with real world problems like bills and a crappy job.
  • Willow's denial of abusing magic, consequences of magic
    The scene with Giles and Willow in the kitchen sets up a MAJOR theme for the season: Willow's belief, to the point of denial, that she has control of her magic, and the consequent fallout from that belief. In this particular scene, she doesn't address any of the concerns that Giles has, she doesn't acknowledge that something could have gone catastrophically wrong with her spell – she just insists that she was in control and did what no one else could do. If you’re familiar with the rest of the season, you know where this is going (from bad to worse).
  • We also meet the Trio for the first time, although we know two of its members from previous episodes. Jonathan has been a recurring character throughout the series, and has had a couple of standout episodes ("Superstar" and "Earshot"). Warren was the 'bot builder from "I Was Made To Love You," and he also constructed the (now defunct) BuffyBot. Andrew, however, remains something of a mystery. He's Tucker's brother – Tucker being the kid who trained the hellhounds to attack Buffy’s senior prom. However, nobody except for Jonathan and Warren ever seems to remember his "flying monkeys at the school play" prank, so the question is: did this actually happen off-screen in the Buffyverse, or is Andrew completely making it up?

    Other stuff:

    The Trio's geek references in this episode include:

  • Warren: ... Let's back things up a parsec, ok?
  • Hypersleep and wormholes (see quotes, below)
  • Warren and Jonathan go on about Tucker's attempt to ruin the prom with hellhounds. Andrew, after telling them that the hellhounds were Tucker's thing, then says "Hello? Screen-wipe, new scene." I'm pretty sure this refers to the screen-wipe scene change used frequently in the original Star Wars trilogy to change scenes abruptly.
  • Staying with the Star Wars theme, there is the following exchange after Warren tells the M'Fashnik demon to kill the Slayer himself:
    Jonathan: How'd you make him do that?
    Andrew: What are you, some kind of Jedi?
    Warren: The Force can sometimes have great power on the weak-minded.
  • Warren tells the M'Fashnik demon to "Make it so," a very Picardian request.

  • Quotes:

    Willow: Um, Buffy, I know you're still getting back on your feet after...
    Buffy: Lying flat on my back?

    Willow: I wasn't lucky. I was amazing. And how would you know? You weren't even there.
    Giles: If I had been, I'd have bloody well stopped you. The magicks you channeled are more ferocious and primal than anything you can hope to understand, and you are lucky to be alive, you rank, arrogant amateur!
    Willow: You're right. The magicks I used are very powerful. I'm very powerful. And maybe it's not such a good idea for you to piss me off.

    Jonathan: It's true, my friends. The way I see it, life is like an interstellar journey. Some people go into hypersleep and travel at sub-light speeds only to get where they're going after years of struggle, toil and hard, hard work. We, on the other hand...
    Andrew: Blast through the space-time continuum in a wormhole?
    Jonathan: Gentlemen, crime is our wormhole.

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    I cry because
    the laundry overflowed
    the sewer blocked again
    we might have to pull up the floor
    and lay it down a third time
    I hate the laundromat
    water runs across the floor
    as fast as the tsunami
    crossing the fields
    crushing the houses
    catching the trucks
    in Japan

    I cry because
    I have to ask for help again
    Help comes
    but the memories of asking
    when it didn't
    help didn't come
    and I was abandoned or humiliated
    rise up and overwhelm me
    I am flooded
    I am helpless
    someone help those people
    The shaking earth is bad enough
    But the ocean rolling inland
    Over all
    Breaking all
    Beams to toothpicks
    Those are the memories that rise up
    And flood me
    I think of the soldiers
    and victims of wars and disasters
    and PTSD
    of memory

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